ANDREW SMITH'S
MINIBEAST WORKSHOPS

Introduction

For over two decades - Andrew Smith (a qualified schoolteacher, arachnologist, writer, field collector and natural history film director) has been visiting primary schools, secondary schools, special schools, nurseries and museums with his exotic and interactive Minibeast, Rainforest & Evolution Workshops. By exotic, we mean just that as Andrew Smith spends one month abroad, every year, filming and collecting tropical insects and spiders. As a result, we promise you that he will turn up with a host of astonishing animals. all of which, will mesmerise your class and supply you with stimulating material for hours of follow-up work. And yes - you can film Andrew and use the material for additional audio-visual support projects in your classroom.

You can also be assured that having been a schoolteacher for 22 years, he will strive to ensure that every workshop is national curriculum linked, exciting and is relevant to what is going on in your classroom. In other words, teacher grounded! He also ensures that his Minibeast Workshops are cracking good value – charging between £250 and £300 for a full day, depending on where you are in Surrey, Sussex, Kent and South London – outside of the south circular. In other words, for the same money that you would pay for a supply teacher - you will get an outstanding science workshop for the day.

The excellent value for money that this is - becomes apparent when you realise that our main competition, charges considerably more plus VAT. We jest you not - and Andrew can assure you that they do not have his professional and academic background, field experience collecting insects and spiders, or the astonishing range of shells, skulls, fossils, skins and other artefacts that he has collected over three decades of travel. With Andrew Smith, what you are doing is buying into your school a unique and competitively priced resource for the day. Remember, when Andrew Smith talks about exotic habitats - he has been there! With Andrew Smith you get an experienced teacher, an academic authority, a published writer, natural history filmmaker and field collector.

Note - Andrew primarily works in South London, Kent, Croydon, Carshalton, Surrey and Sussex. Our London boundary is the south-circular. He will travel further afield (and has done so on several occasions for the British Association of Science) but increased costs and overnight stays may have to be considered - depending on distances. In some cases, schools have banded together and put Andrew up in a local hotel and made a week of it! If you are a regional local authority science inspector - this is always something to think about?

For trusted demonstrators in other areas, please contact us and we will give you the names of the reliable workshops that we know such as Guy Tansley, BUGSNSTUFF (North East) and Paul Carpenter, Life in the Rainforest, in Evesham, Worcestershire. Paul undertakes workshops in Cheltenham and as far afield as Birmingham. Both are outstanding and offer excellent value for money.

As you would expect, Andrew Smith is DBS Enhanced and, of course, is fully insured - copies of which, plus his teacher DOE registration number you may ask to see. His Health & Safety policy & Risk Assessment can be accessed here. He also holds an Animal Activity License (note it is illegal to demonstrate wild animals without one), a Welfare Transport License (from the Secretary of State) to transport live animals on the public highway and is a registered member of the NASUWT.

All animals used in Andrew Smith's workshops are chosen for their suitability for working with children (both mainstream and special needs) and much thought goes into the health and safety of both the children and the animals concerned. We do not use giant reptiles, which are capable of inflicting painful bites (and reinforce negative attitudes), we do not put snakes around children's shoulders/necks, and we would never place a tarantula spider on child's hand. This, of course, is not only good practise but also common sense - and, in today's world, we understand that professionalism is everything and health and safety must be paramount. Nevertheless, we take great care to ensure that your children will not miss out on safe, exciting and extremely rewarding interactive encounters with live reptiles, amphibians and an astonishing collection of invertebrates - most of which they would normally only encounter in a media context. Only a classroom teacher will understand the sense of wonderment that fills a room as her/his charges gaze mesmerised at a collection of hermit crabs as they emerge from their shells - or a particularly withdrawn child gleefully holds an Australian dolly lizard in her arms or has a beautiful small corn snake glide through her fingers. Your children will even stroke the gorgeously hairy legs of a tarantula spider - but the spider (one of several very mature Mexican ladies) is cupped in Andrew's hand and only the legs spill over to be touched. That is what we mean by professional and why you can be assured that when you hire a teacher, you can expect him to deliver what other teachers want.

Want to know more about Andrew? Click here.